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A golf phenom in the making


Fontana's Bourneuf reflects on banner freshman campaign



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Luke Bourneuf shot a 74 on day two at the state golf meet and took 10th overall in Division II. Mike Ramczyk.

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Bourneuf was already golfing by the age of 3. (click for larger version)
June 11, 2013 | 05:03 PM
FONTANA — It's not easy for a freshman to make the varsity squad in any sport, let alone advance all the way to state.

Especially when that freshman has never been on a golf team and has to compete with his established, talented teammates.

Fontana native and Big Foot freshman Luke Bourneuf made it look like a piece of cake on this year's Big Foot varsity boys golf team.

On June 3 and 4, Bourneuf, a lefty, held his own on the state's biggest stage, the WIAA state golf meet at University Ridge in Madison. He shot a 79 his first day and followed that up with an impressive 74 on day two. Bourneuf tied for 10th overall in Division II.

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This spring, Bourneuf was a pleasant surprise for a Chiefs squad that already featured strong players like Craig Halma, Kyle Shoger and Dylan Freytag. Big Foot won the Rock Valley South championship and was only nine strokes away from advancing to team state.

Bourneuf's clutch play helped Big Foot advance to sectionals as a team. His 83 led the way at regionals, and his 78 was a team low at sectionals.

Bourneuf started playing the game before the age of 3 and was competing by age 9. He focuses on improvement every day he steps on the course, and it's the challenge of the sport that draws him in.

The Regional News caught up with Bourneuf recently to discuss his stellar rookie campaign and to get to know the guy behind the clubs.

Regional News: Take me through your state experience. Why were you so effective?

Luke Bourneuf: I had a fantastic experience at state. It is an amazing course that challenges all parts of your game. I got to play a practice round on Sunday and walk through a round with my coach, Bob Sullivan. Then, during Monday's first round, I hit the ball really well, but didn't read the speed of the greens well. They were a little slower than I had judged. I was more effective on day two because I continued to strike the ball well but made a lot more putts.

RN: Were you nervous at state?

LB: I was really nervous. Even in mini-meets (during the conference season) I would get nervous because my score affected my teammates. State was even more intense because the crowd was much bigger than I am used to playing in front of.

RN: What changes did you make from day one to day two at state?

LB: I played so well on Monday that I didn't make any changes except being more aggressive with my putting.

RN: Why were you able to be successful this season individually and as a team?

LB: This was my first experience playing on a golf team. It was so fun, and my teammates are great guys. We all got along well, encouraged each other and never put too much pressure on ourselves. This really allowed me to improve at my own pace. I was really proud that we were only 10 shots short of going to state as a team.

RN: When did you start playing golf?

LB: I used to go to the driving range with my dad when I was really little, and we would putt around for fun. Then one winter when I was 3, my mom took me to an indoor driving range and I starting hitting with real clubs. I played in my first competition when I was 9 at the par-3 course at Hawk's View.

RN: What is your favorite course to play on, and what is your all-time lowest score on 9 holes and 18 holes?

LB: The Player and the Palmer courses at Geneva National are tied for my favorite places to play. My lowest 9-hole score is 35, and I have shot 74 a number of times for my lowest 18.

RN: Why do you think your game is so effective?

LB: I think the best part of my game is that I'm steady and consistent without any big weaknesses.

RN: Why do you love golf so much?

LB: I love golf because it is so difficult. I really like doing things that are a challenge and require lots of skill and practice.

RN: Who has been your biggest influence on the golf course?

LB: My dad and my uncles.

RN: What do you plan to work on this summer for next season?

LB: The next thing on my mind now are the summer tournaments that I will be playing in, and then in the winter I'll start focusing on next season.

RN: Do you play other Sports?

LB: Soccer was actually my favorite sport when I was growing up, and I love playing high school soccer at Big Foot.

RN: What do you like to do in your spare time when your not golfing?

LB: Watching Sports on TV, wakeboarding, snow skiing, snowboarding, hanging out with friends, and the list goes on.

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